Author Topic: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2014, 01:13:42 pm »
I think the problem really comes from the ill-definedness of be. The be in "You are a student" has a fundamentally different meaning from the be in "You are the first person counting from the left". In the first case, the meaning is "You can be categorized as a student", while the second sentence really defines what is meant by "you": there is only one person that satisfies "the first person counting from the left." I meant that a person can only be one of the latter. But I digress.

I understand that these two interpretations exist. I'm just not sure if they apply to Na'vi like that.

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In Chinese and Japanese, one type of sentence would have arguments coordinated with an ulte analog: Japanese literally translated *nga numeyu lu ulte karyu (lu). The other type of sentence uses a analog since the meaning is different: nga lu re'o sì mikyun sì kxetse sì nari...

I see.

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I am not suggesting that Chinese and Japanese is more "natural", as all languages have their own quirks. But it does show that this is an area where languages don't agree with each other. My pet rule is that if something is underspecified by Ayhoren, only use it if all three in Chinese, Japanese, and English agree.

That's a pretty good rule to have. I think I've seen some other people have the same rule. My problem is, I know only a little about Chinese/Japanese grammar. I just know for a fact that many things in English and other Euroean languages do not work with Na'vi and I'm happy with that. But I've also noticed many many English-isms creep in due to the fact that Frommer's first and primary language is US English. (thinking about all those adv./n. and other things that you have noticed and posted about here and there too)

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It may be my L1 influencing me, but I feel there is a fundamental, intrinsic difference between

Nga lu re'o mikyun kxetse ... and
Nga lu karyu numeyu.

The second, literally translated into Mandarin or Japanese, would mean the bizarre "You are {a teacher and a student}"; i.e. you (singular) somehow was physically two people (joined by a string??? borg hive mind???). At the very least, it feels HIGHLY marked: I would use it to hint that the two identities (teacher and student) are somehow heterogeneous and disconnected for example. You are one, but yet two.

The first means the literal array meaning. You are an array of different objects, which assembled becomes you.

However, the second seems to be conventionally understood as a contracted ulte lu, while the first seems to comfortably fit in the definition of . If we rigidly follow Ayhoren and Dictionary's definition of , the second use seems less sure than the first one. I am intuitively much more comfortable saying the second as Nga lu karyu ulte numeyu (kop). Somehow I don't feel the rule is "ulte can turn into when the two words right next to it on the paper are nouns".

Right. The first one would imply that:

nga = sum("re'o","mikyun","kxetse",....);

Which I'd admit is also true and grammatically and semantically correct. It's like saying "You are a body, mind, and soul". I don't disagree with that. But the weird part is, I also say that this is not the only way to interpret the "sì" operator in Na'vi.

That second one I'd say can only realistically be interpreted as: "You are [both] a teacher and a student [such that you assume both roles in society;  "student" and "teacher" are labels applied to people based on activity and/or occupation and since you do the appropriate actions to satisfy the definitions of both these labels, both of them may be applied to you.]."

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I do feel very comfortable with sentences like Nga lu tsawl sì keftxo though, in particular because tsawl sì keftxo can be treated as one unit and it still works.

I still feel like sì causes an array that implies iteration and not assembly of constituents into one.

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Finally, I scoured around Na'viteri. Curiously, Pawl does not seem to use constructions analogous to Nga lu karyu numeyu. It always involves ulte in some shape or form.

Interesting. So I've found a bunch of other things Paul has said that involve sì. Maybe we can check them out.

Ayeylanur oeyä sì eylanur lì'fyayä leNa'vi nìwotx:
To all my friends and friends of the Na'vi language:

Slä nìawnomum, zene oe 'awsiteng tìkangkem sivi fohu a Uniltìrantokxit sì kifkeyit Eywa'evengä zamolunge awngar.
But as you know, I must work together with those who have brought us “Avatar” and the world of Pandora.

Tì'eyngit oel tolel a krr, ayngaru payeng, tsakrr paye'un sweya fya'ot a zamivunge oel ayngar aylì'ut horentisì lì'fyayä leNa'vi.
When I receive an answer, I will let you know, and I will then decide the best way to bring you the words and rules of Na'vi.

Ta 'eylan karyusì ayngeyä, Pawl.
Your friend and teacher, Paul.

mawkrr layeiu oer krr nì’ul fte ngivop aylì’ut sì tsayfnesänumvit a tsun frapor srung sivi fte nivume sì ziverok nìswey.

Lu pìlokur pxesìkan sì pxefne’upxare:

Fayupxare layu aysngä’iyufpi, fte lì’fyari awngeyä fo tsìyevun nìftue nìltsansì nivume.

Clustered. "Ma smukan sì smuke."

... fte tsivun pilvlltxe sì tivìran na ayoeng.
...to speak and walk as we do.

yayo a lu lor sì hì'i
"a pretty, small bird"

Po sì oe tìkangkem soli nìtengfya
"she and I did it in the same way."

What are some trends? Does any of this seem to confirm or deny the hypothesis that sì must create a singular thing from constituent items in a list by compiling them together or by assembling them together as parts of a whole?

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Well, usually, nationalities use za'u ftu; Oe za'u ftu Tsayna sì Kanata.
AFAIR, za'u ftu mean physical movement (Oe za'u ftu Tsayna = I travelled here from China);
za'u ta means origin (Oe za'u ta Tsayna = I was born China). I don't see any connection with nationality....

The nationality / where one is from thing comes from a Na'vi 101 Lesson handout made by Paul for AvatarMeet.


A. Nga zola'u ftu peseng?
    Where are you from?
B. Oe zola'u ftu Wasyington. Ngari tut?
    I'm from Washington. And you?
A. Oe zola u ftu El Ey.
    I'm from L.A.


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I am intuitively much more comfortable saying the second as Nga lu karyu ulte numeyu (kop). Somehow I don't feel the rule is "ulte can turn into sì when the two words right next to it on the paper are nouns".

I do feel very comfortable with sentences like Nga lu tsawl sì keftxo though, in particular because tsawl sì keftxo can be treated as one unit and it still works.
But both usages seems to have same meaning, as you mentioned before:
X has these properties, where property = adjective or noun.
I would not search for any fault in lu definition, think about your examples like this:
You are a student = Object You has this property: is student
You are the first person counting from the left = Object You has this property: is the first in line from the left

Satisfying enough?

I agree.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 01:19:34 pm by Tirea Aean »

Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2014, 06:10:27 pm »
(thinking about all those adv./n.)

Hmm. Would you care to give an example?  :-[

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What are some trends? Does any of this seem to confirm or deny the hypothesis that sì must create a singular thing from constituent items in a list by compiling them together or by assembling them together as parts of a whole?

The only thing that goes against the hypothesis is "Ta 'eylan karyusì ayngeyä, Pawl.". Even then the enclitic is used, and from my observations it has some differences in semantics with the word, although these differences are poorly documented. One other data point, "fte tsivun pilvlltxe sì tivìran na ayoeng", strengthens the hypothesis since the sì here, Ayhoren even says, serves to bind "plltxe" and "tivìran" into one united action; that is, a new verb with two parts: talk and walk. It can't be list iteration, because that would have the same meaning as ulte, and Ayhoren explicitly cites this sentence to point out that ulte would have a subtly different meaning.

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But both usages seems to have same meaning, as you mentioned before:
X has these properties, where property = adjective or noun.

Hmm. That is an interesting thought; if we interpret the as coordinating between properties then it works with nouns too. However, nouns aren't properties unless they are used as such by being next to lu. Adjectives OTOH are inherently properties. In other words, tsawl sì keftxo inherently means "the property built by assembling the property of being tall and being sad". numeyu sì karyu seems to inherently mean "the noun built by assembling together a student and a teacher", while the property (a lu) numeyu sì karyu would intuitively mean something like "the property of being a noun built by assembling a student and a teacher", not "the property built by assembling the property of being a student and being a teacher".

The reason, to my intuition, seems to be that Na'vi has a clearer distinction between nouns and adjectives, and nouns simply aren't properties until you stick in lu around them. However, there is only one lu before N1 sì N2, so I feel like N1 sì N2 should be parsed into an NP before it gets converted into a property by lu, rather than the nouns turning into two properties which are then coordinated. In English this doesn't matter (You are a teacher and a student) because English nouns are already inherently properties - "a Hollywood movie", "a student union", "Toronto mayor Rob Ford". Thus when you coordinate them, you are allowed to think of the result as a coordination of two properties; you can even coordinate them with adjectives: "a spectacular and very Hollywood movie". *tsawla sì Omatikayaä Kelutral just won't work in Na'vi.
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Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2014, 07:01:13 pm »
(thinking about all those adv./n.)

Hmm. Would you care to give an example?  :-[

fìtseng, fìtxon, pxesrram, pxesrray, mesrram, merray, trram, trray, mìfa, wrrpa

All of these can be used as nouns or as adverbs. Pretty Englishy.

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What are some trends? Does any of this seem to confirm or deny the hypothesis that sì must create a singular thing from constituent items in a list by compiling them together or by assembling them together as parts of a whole?

The only thing that goes against the hypothesis is "Ta 'eylan karyusì ayngeyä, Pawl.". Even then the enclitic is used, and from my observations it has some differences in semantics with the word, although these differences are poorly documented.

The enclitic sì, I was absolutely convinced is just a style choice and is exactly equivalent to using the nonbound prepositional form.
'eylan sì karyu == 'eylan karyusì


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One other data point, "fte tsivun pilvlltxe sì tivìran na ayoeng", strengthens the hypothesis since the sì here, Ayhoren even says, serves to bind "plltxe" and "tivìran" into one united action; that is, a new verb with two parts: talk and walk. It can't be list iteration, because that would have the same meaning as ulte, and Ayhoren explicitly cites this sentence to point out that ulte would have a subtly different meaning.

Really? Mo'at wants Neytiri to teach Jake just this one weird action defined as the conglomerate of {speaking whilst walking around}? That's basically ludicrous. What Mo'at was saying is equivalent to this: "You must teach him our ways, so that he can speak like us and so that he can walk like us." And even that is a more or less stylistic way to say it. Surely she actually wants him to be able to do more than just speak like them and walk like them.

The meaning had ulte been used there instead of sì...
"...fte tsivun pivlltxe ulte tivìran na ayoeng"
-> So that {[he] would be able to speak [[because he was unable to speak at all before]] } and {walk like us [[as opposed to the way he currently walks]] }.

The meaning with sì
"...fte tsivun pivlltxe sì tivìran na ayoeng"
-> So that [he] would be able to both speak like us and walk like us.

It's almost as if sì here is just allowing the na ayoeng to distribute to pivlltxe where with ulte it only affects tivìran. Or something. That's probably just a side-effect more than an up-front feature.

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But both usages seems to have same meaning, as you mentioned before:
X has these properties, where property = adjective or noun.

Hmm. That is an interesting thought; if we interpret the as coordinating between properties then it works with nouns too. However, nouns aren't properties unless they are used as such by being next to lu. Adjectives OTOH are inherently properties.

I'd agree there. Nouns are nouns, and adjectives are adjectives. And the way lu works is, You can have all these cases:

1. noun1 lu noun2. //typically declares that noun1 is a noun2. Or noun2 is a noun1. Whichever makes the most sense or is accurate of the situation at hand
2. noun2 lu noun1. //typically declares that noun2 is a noun1. Or noun1 is a noun2. Whichever makes the most sense or is accurate of the situation at hand
3. noun1 lu adj. //declares that noun1 is adj.
4. adj. lu noun1. //declares that noun1 is adj.
(3 ad 4 are equivalent)
(technically 1 and 2 are equivalent too. Which ought to throw a big wrench in expressing some fundamentals of set theory. How do you say "All squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares"??)

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In other words,
tsawl sì keftxo inherently means "the property built by assembling the property of being tall and being sad".
numeyu sì karyu seems to inherently mean "the noun built by assembling together a student and a teacher",

while the property

(a lu) numeyu sì karyu would intuitively mean something like "the property of being a noun built by assembling a student and a teacher",
not "the property built by assembling the property of being a student and being a teacher".

Why? Why does sì assume the role of a compiler and all the nouns/adj. assume the role of source code such that the end result is some big bytecode-noun? These nouns get compiled into a new inseparable conglomerate every time? I find that very counter-intuitive in almost every case sì is used. At the end of the day, I find that it's almost like sì is just a big time-saving shorthand of something that can be redundantly expressed using ulte.

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The reason, to my intuition, seems to be that Na'vi has a clearer distinction between nouns and adjectives, and nouns simply aren't properties until you stick in lu around them. However, there is only one lu before N1 sì N2, so I feel like N1 sì N2 should be parsed into an NP before it gets converted into a property by lu, rather than the nouns turning into two properties which are then coordinated. In English this doesn't matter (You are a teacher and a student) because English nouns are already inherently properties - "a Hollywood movie", "a student union", "Toronto mayor Rob Ford". Thus when you coordinate them, you are allowed to think of the result as a coordination of two properties; you can even coordinate them with adjectives: "a spectacular and very Hollywood movie". *tsawla sì Omatikayaä Kelutral just won't work in Na'vi.

I think that English is really weird in that any noun can basically be an attributive adjective, but meh. We know that this is not the case in Na'vi.

That sentence *tsawla sì Omatikayaä Kelutral doesn't work indeed, but I think for a few reasons. I guess it kind of depends on what the sentence is around it.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 07:08:15 pm by Tirea Aean »

Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2014, 09:51:52 pm »
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Why does sì assume the role of a compiler and all the nouns/adj. assume the role of source code such that the end result is some big bytecode-noun? These nouns get compiled into a new inseparable conglomerate every time? I find that very counter-intuitive in almost every case sì is used
Hmm. I kinda agree after I think more about how is known to be used. I guess it's just my L1 and most recently learned foreign language (Japanese) influencing my intuition: those two languages strictly use for "compiling conglomerations", and ulte analogues would be used even in sentences like Po lu tsawl *ulte keftxo.

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fìtseng, fìtxon, pxesrram, pxesrray, mesrram, merray, trram, trray, mìfa, wrrpa
All the words referring to time are also both nouns and adverbs in Japanese ;)

Asita gakkoo-e iku., word-for-word "Trray numtsengne kä"

In fact it would be wrong to use a locative there in Japanese, just like you can't say *trraymì in Na'vi. AAMOF Chinese does the exact same thing, except in Chinese fìtseng belongs to the same class too. Nouns like these being adverbs in fact fits my "Chinese, Japanese, English" checklist ;)

The #1 Englishy thing I personally find about Na'vi are phrases of the form (adposition) (noun) being modifiers. I sometimes internally sigh when I see sentences like Syuve mì sähena lu ftxìlor. Surely it has to be syuve a tok sähenat >_< In Japanese we would say something like Kelutraläo kerllkxem a Neytiri lor lu for Neytiri äo Kelutral lor lu.

Sentences like (noun) lu (adposition) (noun) also seem rather Englishy, although Chinese does that too (although with something more akin to tok; it isn't the equality operator). Neytiri lu äo Kelutral. Regardless it feels bizarre since the phrase types on the two sides of lu are completely different: noun phrase vs. adverbial phrase.

IOW, adpositions seem too similar to Standard Average European prepositions, and stand in almost bizarre contrast to the pretty innovative and alien other aspects of Na'vi.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 09:56:54 pm by Irtaviš Ačankif »
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Offline Wllìm

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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2014, 10:56:28 am »
The #1 Englishy thing I personally find about Na'vi are phrases of the form (adposition) (noun) being modifiers. I sometimes internally sigh when I see sentences like Syuve mì sähena lu ftxìlor. Surely it has to be syuve a tok sähenat >_< In Japanese we would say something like Kelutraläo kerllkxem a Neytiri lor lu for Neytiri äo Kelutral lor lu.

Syuve mì sähena lu ftxìlor is actually not correct. It needs to be syuve a mì sähena lu ftxìlor (at least if you want to couple mì sähena to syuve).

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Sentences like (noun) lu (adposition) (noun) also seem rather Englishy, although Chinese does that too (although with something more akin to tok; it isn't the equality operator). Neytiri lu äo Kelutral. Regardless it feels bizarre since the phrase types on the two sides of lu are completely different: noun phrase vs. adverbial phrase.
I usually try to avoid this construction as well, since I don't like it intuitively. It is also often not needed... You can often change it to for example Neytiri a äo Kelutral if you have another sentence to combine it with.
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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2014, 11:28:16 am »
The #1 Englishy thing I personally find about Na'vi are phrases of the form (adposition) (noun) being modifiers. I sometimes internally sigh when I see sentences like Syuve mì sähena lu ftxìlor. Surely it has to be syuve a tok sähenat >_< In Japanese we would say something like Kelutraläo kerllkxem a Neytiri lor lu for Neytiri äo Kelutral lor lu.

Syuve mì sähena lu ftxìlor is actually not correct. It needs to be syuve a mì sähena lu ftxìlor (at least if you want to couple mì sähena to syuve).
Umm, lì'fyari leNa'vi 'Rrtamì...?
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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2014, 11:39:04 am »
I've always interpreted 'Rrtamì in such sentences as belonging to the verb... Don't know if that is the correct interpretation though.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 11:57:13 am by Wllìm »
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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2014, 11:53:10 am »
I've always interpreted 'Rrtamì in such sentenxes as belonging to the verb... Don't know if that is the correct interpretation though.
This.
Palulukan mì na'rìng hahaw -> Thanator sleeps in the forest (doesn't sleep in the field)
Palulukan a mì na'rìng hahaw -> Thanator in the forest (not thanator in the field) sleeps.

Difference is not too big, but it exists.
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Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2014, 11:55:14 am »
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Syuve mì sähena lu ftxìlor is actually not correct. It needs to be syuve a mì sähena lu ftxìlor (at least if you want to couple mì sähena to syuve).
Umm, lì'fyari leNa'vi 'Rrtamì...?

He's right.

syuve a{ mì sähena} lu ftxìlor == "[The food <-{in the container}] is delicious. [[And therefore, there is delicious food that happens to be inside the container.]]"

It's the same thing as if you had said:

syuve asom lu ftxìlor

Without the a, this sentence:

syuve mì sähena lu ftxìlor == "In the container, the food is delicious. [[And therefore as soon as you take it out, it's no longer delicous.]]"

clearly has a different meaning.

Oel tse'a tuteti mì hilvan. == I see a person in the river. <such that>: I am in the river and I see a person [[who may or may not also be in the river]].
Oel tse'a tuteti a mì hilvan. == I see a person in the river. <such that>: I [[may or not be in the river, but]] see a person who is in the river.

And that thing you bring up is different. It's a case of what happens when there is no a.

Lì’fyari leNa’vi ’Rrtamì, vay set ’almong a fra’u zera’u ta ngrrpongu.
Everything that has gone on with (blossomed regarding) Na’vi until now on Earth has come from a grassroots movement.

that 'Rrtamì is automatically parsed as modifying the verb or adding context to the rest of the sentence somehow and is Not seen as attributing to the noun Lì'fya leNa'vi Because it does not have the a between. Had the a been there, it is automatically parsed as an attribute to just that noun.

I've always interpreted 'Rrtamì in such sentenxes as belonging to the verb... Don't know if that is the correct interpretation though.

^This.

I've always interpreted 'Rrtamì in such sentenxes as belonging to the verb... Don't know if that is the correct interpretation though.
This.
Palulukan mì na'rìng hahaw -> Thanator sleeps in the forest (doesn't sleep in the field)
Palulukan a mì na'rìng hahaw -> Thanator in the forest (not thanator in the field) sleeps.

Difference is not too big, but it exists.
And this. ^

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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2014, 11:57:54 am »
- if prepositional phrase modifies a verb, it works like adverb - no -a- needed
- if prepositional phrase modifies a noun, it works like attribute -a- is needed

Zerup tompa kxamlä txon.
is adverbial.
"when is raing? - through the night"

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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Coordination of non-subject noun arguments
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2014, 01:46:24 pm »
Ah thanks! Maybe it is just that too many people are misusing adpositions that I thought it was correct that way. I see adpositions modifying nouns all the time.
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